Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:25 pm

(I never did write about the Seattle call here, so this is now Montana and it now has its proper thread)

1,104 miles since the hail in Spearfish SD. While in Spearfish, I visited with mpls_ham, a longterm lurker here and on theSamba. After the hail of the night before, I was in no mood to get stood up, but there I was, stood up, standing on the porch at mpls_ham's house at 9:15AM.

Twenty-two doorbell rings later, my ugly little Motorola finally found a cell tower signal. Met with mpls_ham down at the gas station and we caravanned to the storage unit/garage where his bus awaited a rebuilt engine installation. Oh look, another Jopex muffler with the stupid splitty tailpipe from Bus Depot. Once again, I suggested to another customer to CALL Bus Depot and MAKE them send out a correct baywindow straight tailpipe. We finished installing this most-foul poorly dimensioned muffler and then installed the engine. Ran a bit poorly there with a carburetor that smelled like an ancient farm shed. Mpls_ham shall be entering into "discussions" with the engine builder. After a quick lunch, I hit the road into the yonder west.

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Drove through Wyoming to Montana, my favored population density of two human souls per thousand square miles just beckoning, sun! sky! road! bugs.

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Ran into whc03grady in Livingston MT at the library. We spent a day conducting a valve adjustment and a breaker point/condensor change-out, did a little timing, and replaced the rebuilt Bosch starter that had been so recalcitrant, and stuck in a virtual no-name replacement rebuilt starter from O'Reilley's Auto Parts.

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I was so sure that we were going to have reliable starts now that I unwired the hot-start relay. Nope. Had to go wake it up under the bus with a wrench across the terminals. Then it would start every fifth turn of the key. Then I had to go RE-wire the hot start relay to make this new no-name starter start.

As importantly, the steering failed my test drive test. Now Mitch is a wizened VW bus traveler, he gave me pretty good push-back. " I LIKE vague steering, it helps keep me on the road when I am having alcoholic delirium tremors or a case of meth jitters." You really can't argue with that.

For a librarian, this guy's got the arms to bang out bushings. "It is going to get tougher now that the lower one is against the upper one," I warned him. The clanking of the upper one on the pavement was his his response. Look at this old center pin. The Worst I Have Ever Seen:

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So, we managed to tap in the nice new Meyle bushings just right, we got the seals and the washers and the lock plates and the pinch bolt and the wavy washer and the pin all ready to go, but what's this, what's this, what's this?? The pin is too big to fit? All of my years of complaining that the new pins are sometimes looser than the ones being replaced, and this thing is totally not going in! We tried to sand the pin, then tap it in, but the bushing showed distress and the pin locked in pretty tight. I was NOT going to have a pin half in / half out, stuck beyond our ability to pull it out. I was so close to just whanging that b**ch in, but I seriously did not want whc03grady to have tight non-returnable steering with a tight center pin and the vagueness of a loose drag link socket. No way. "I'm sure I can deal with it," said whc03grady.
NO-OOoooo. I remember the horror of the Road Warrior's steering in the wind after enjoying 25 years of perfect slightly loose steering. I was out of options. We called NAPA for a reamer. "What's a reamer?" Called Car Quest, I think it was here that the nice lady on the other end of the phone offered to sell a brake cylinder hone (heck, could have used that on the miz's Vana White Vanagon). "Yes," I jumped at that solution. A brake cylinder hone could easily hone through the brass bushings (teflon was used on oem VW bushings, and that would have been a sorry hit against longevity, but here we were just trying to survive this ordeal. Got the hone. Honed.

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Got the hone's three expanding arms stuck in-between the two bushings. Battery on the drill died. Charged the drill's battery while fishing the hone out. Came up with a patented system for installing the hone arms utilizing the red jumper wire that jump-started Lisa's bus that rainy morning in Minnesota and now serves as my belt. Man oh man, what is with these replacement parts? We finished up and lubricated that center pin assembly, then I had to get us in another predicament. "Hey Mitch, let's remove the drag link so it will be easier for you when you get your new one (he has ten days! ten days! to replace that drag link)." The remover tool kindly squashed the threads. Ball joints that are loose just rotate when trying to run a die down the threads. Vise grips to hold the ball joint while trying to run the die down the threads just mar the taper surface. Yeah, so I thought, I better leave before any other great ideas come up.

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Lawdy, but finally, we got the drag link greased and "lightly installed" so Mitch can get it out more easily when he replaces the drag link in ten days. I like seeing Mitch season into a mechanic:

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We drank beer. Good cold beer from Belle Plaine. Thanks, Belle Plaine. Tried the starter again, just to make sure. All seemed good. I hit the road to Missoula, where Chloe's first windshield got cracked two summers ago. Montana. Montana . . . where the highway department just has to pour hot oil all over the interstates then glaze the glop with gravel, sharp fresh mountain gravel. The highway department was doing exactly that as I approached Missoula. I tore off the interstate onto a secondary road and thought I had dodged the danger. I had, until I crossed the exit road from the interstate where cars had brought the gravel to me, courtesy a Dodge Charger in a hurry. Just a chip, thus far.

Last year, mtcamper and I backed up for a couple of miles along I-90 trying to find my LM-1 sniffer that had fallen off. This year was less dramatic. We adjusted valves, did timing, pondered a weak cylinder, test drove down I-90 in the forward direction this year and enjoyed 434* CHTs ("this won't do," I said brightly).
All of my tweaks at the AFM did not help except for "pig rich". For fun, I decided to knock the timing back 5*. Head temps dropped by 25*. Mtcamper, let us know how it does.

Then I drove to Seattle. 103* in Spokane! Mountain grades! 99* at the pass! Sure I love the heat, but this came up quick. How did my stock loaded-down Volkswagen bus with that hard-working little 1600 battling grades and heat and hour after hour of relentless highway driving fare?
Good.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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wcfvw69
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by wcfvw69 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:46 pm

Colin,

Is there a center pin kit that is "decent" these days? There's arguments on other sites about which one is the best being sold these days? Mine has some movement on my 70' that I want you to access. I want to have the parts on hand if you feel it's too loose.

How's your bus do on the grades? You may have seen my post on here after I did my first mountain trip w/a loaded Westphalia. What speeds are you able to maintain climbing steep grades?

Glad to hear you're in Seattle. I love that town (when it's not 100).
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:53 am

wcfvw69 wrote:Colin,
Is there a center pin kit that is "decent" these days?

How's your bus do on the grades? You may have seen my post on here after I did my first mountain trip w/a loaded Westphalia. What speeds are you able to maintain climbing steep grades?

Glad to hear you're in Seattle. I love that town (when it's not 100).
As for center pin kits, I have always complained about them being too loose, so this last one was a real surprise. I cannot tell you what is "good" any more. I prefer too tight, actually. Gives me the chance to ream-to-fit, but can't we just get the correct clearance out of the box? Do I purchase my own brake cylinder hone for this new MeyleTooTight kit? Will the next kit be too loose? I have a FEBI kit that installed loose and is looser still as of today.

Bus on grades? Does great. Here's a downhill grade to the Columbia River crossing at 97*:

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Here's a good four or five mile uphill grade at the crest where the climbing lane has to merge. We were at 46 mph in 4th and peaked at 395* CHT:

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The ceiling temperature yesterday, above which the engine just would not go, was 402* with an ambient of 103*. That is fine by me. I look forward to seeing how it does when I get to Death Valley smack dab in the middle of the summer frying pan.

Coming down from Coeur D'Alene, I let 'er rip at 65 mph where the engine definitely likes to get to work. Problem is, I need longevity more than anything else, so I normally drive like a little old lady. Here's a sample:

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Bleyseng
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Bleyseng » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:20 am

I am coming back from Idaho this morning dreading the heat. Coming I hit 106f and had vapor lock 3 times (no fuel to the fuel pump). Time to change to the 78-79 hot air dumps to direct it it away from the gas tank area. CHTs were 375-400f but oil temps were 235-240F. Heading back driving like a granny...
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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wcfvw69
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by wcfvw69 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:48 am

Thanks for the reply Colin.

I'm jealous of the 42MPH on your steep grades. I was in second gear struggling to maintain 30-35mph on some real step grades at altitudes over 5000'. At least the RPMS were up to keep the motor cool.

It's certainly a sad state of affairs w/our current parts that are available today for our beloved VW's.. I guess I'll do more research in looking for a quality center pin kit.
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by asiab3 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:00 am

RE: center pins

http://haysvwrepair.com/how-to-make-you ... t-no-play/

I will comment later, but I like reading this guy's stuff.
Almost a thousand hard miles this weekend, I think I added oil once.
Sent from my phone.
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
142k miles with me.
319k miles on Earth.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by wcfvw69 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:45 am

asiab3 wrote:RE: center pins

http://haysvwrepair.com/how-to-make-you ... t-no-play/

I will comment later, but I like reading this guy's stuff.
Almost a thousand hard miles this weekend, I think I added oil once.
Sent from my phone.
Robbie
That's a great article Robbie. Thanks for sharing it.
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:21 am

asiab3 wrote:RE: center pins

http://haysvwrepair.com/how-to-make-you ... t-no-play/

I will comment later, but I like reading this guy's stuff.
Almost a thousand hard miles this weekend, I think I added oil once.
Sent from my phone.
Robbie
This guy is a "no". He misses the fact that that the upper bushing does NOT set "endplay", and he should not even be entertaining the notion.

The upper bushing must protrude only 1-2mm as an index for the thrust washer. The pin is designed (and must) to float vertically a bit utilizing the large wavy washer under the head of the pin against the positive location of the relay lever and its clamp bolt. Our c-clamp compression step to allow the clamp bolt to go through the center pin's cut-out will dictate the end play.

Also, strongly recommended is to not bash the pin through the bushings with brute force, you are setting yourself up for galling. They should be reamed so that easy taps drive the pin reliably through the bushings without violence.

Slightly loose steering, I am coming to enjoy in Chloe, it makes the steering alive against road camber and irregularities and wind effects with reliable and enjoyable return-to-center.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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whc03grady
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by whc03grady » Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:25 am

That was some good beer. Thanks from me too, BellePlaine.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:40 pm

whc03grady wrote:That was some good beer. Thanks from me too, BellePlaine.
You have 5 (five) days remaining to get that drag link in. How is it running now, pleasepleaseplease?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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jcbrock
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by jcbrock » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:40 pm

wcfvw69 wrote: I'm jealous of the 42MPH on your steep grades. I was in second gear struggling to maintain 30-35mph on some real step grades at altitudes over 5000'. At least the RPMS were up to keep the motor cool.
I wondered driving over Homestake Pass last week just before Butte how my bus would do. Saw someone towing a BMW M3 on a car dolly with a VW Toureg at 75-80 mph, both up and down. Couldn't believe it, kept waiting for the disaster but I guess sometimes what you don't know doesn't hurt you.
'76 Type II Station Wagon - in the family since new!
Corvallis, OR

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:31 am

jcbrock wrote:
wcfvw69 wrote: I'm jealous of the 42MPH on your steep grades. I was in second gear struggling to maintain 30-35mph on some real step grades at altitudes over 5000'. At least the RPMS were up to keep the motor cool.
I wondered driving over Homestake Pass last week just before Butte how my bus would do. Saw someone towing a BMW M3 on a car dolly with a VW Toureg at 75-80 mph, both up and down. Couldn't believe it, kept waiting for the disaster but I guess sometimes what you don't know doesn't hurt you.
There are many clueless people driving very rapidly on today's roads with today's finely engineered transportation appliances, and all appears well until . . . until . . . the anomaly strikes. As a driver who has seen and helped at a few wrecks, I look for the errors that lead to the anomalies and do my best to be away from them. I have seen Ford Explorers with low inflation pressures on a rear tire, I have seen the fashion girl in the convertible over-correct when jumping back from a lane change that almost hit the car next to her, I have seen the big-lift pick-up cop an attitude and gun the gas around a slow truck only to find an even slower truck just ahead, and all that lift with those big tires do not help them brake in the slightest. I have seen the towing of cars and boats and wonder if the drivers are aware of how much closer they are to the margin of control. Our buses are pretty good underneath 40 mph with our torsion bar suspension and excellent brakes, but the closer we get to 70-75 mph, the closer we are to our own anomaly margins. The laws of physics are immutable. I keep my tires inflated, the brakes well adjusted, and my steering in good order, MITCH, and there is much to be said for practicing your emergency braking and dog-avoidance swerving at slow speeds in an empty parking lot, so that you are able to stay within the vehicle's engineering in the real emergency, not over-correct, not panic.

The good news for us is, we know, we all know here, that our headlamp buckets are barely 12" ahead of our shins, and this makes us more alert drivers. Alert drivers improve their chances for arriving unscathed.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by ruckman101 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:26 pm

Just tooling along in the slow lane watching the frantic pass by works for me. I keep it under 70 favoring 67. Sounds daring, but for every ten miles my odometer clocks, I've actually driven eleven. Occasionally I get tired of dogging the slower tractor-trailer and move over for a pass. And it's an exciting experience.

I like Colin's advice of parking lot practice. I squirreled and fishtailed about a bit in spring Willamette River silt in my youth, when I hit snow, I was better prepared for that occasion because of it. A '64 squareback I learned to drive on my learner permit and subsequently had a bit of fun with when Dad gave me the keys to the car those nights.

I have yet to stomp on the brakes in my bus as viciously as Colin has. But he was testing. Not a bad idea. I mean, in crisis, flawless performance without surprises hedges the odds.


neal
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:28 am

ruckman101 wrote: I have yet to stomp on the brakes in my bus as viciously as Colin has. But he was testing. Not a bad idea. I mean, in crisis, flawless performance without surprises hedges the odds.

neal

Good opportunity to share "emergency braking protocols", since I have had customers get a little too enthusiastic when they try.

*Never Stomp The Brakes* Squeeze them instead. This prevents slewing and uncontrollable lock-up.
I should tell you that the situation might rush up too quickly (I gots that tee shirt), but if you have the time to plan your avoidance, then don't wreck your ability to steer by locking everything up.
Colin :blackeye:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Montana

Post by Jivermo » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:59 am

Speaking of shirts-did you get your long sleeve shirt back?

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